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Scelerata - The Sniper Review

by Matt Hensch

Power metal and Brazil go together like chicken and waffles, peanut butter and jelly, misery and working full-time. "The Sniper" is Scelerata's third record, a novel example of a power metal band that knows how to get things done right. It seems these Brazilian warlords scored Helloween's longtime bard Andi Deris and former Iron Maiden vocalist and longtime welfare queen Paul Di'Anno to make guest appearances here, and that caliber of cameos is almost certainly worth a listen, so why not give it a shot, right? However, the Brazilian quintet of Scelerata proves itself to be beyond the attraction of big names and shiny guest appearances based on the group's insanely fun and dynamic material throughout "The Sniper," which is definitely authentic. It's not big or revolutionary, but it is enjoyable, and that's all that matters.

Scelerata practices a standard representation of power metal, taking hints and cues from godfathers like Helloween and Gamma Ray, yet they manage to pull off whatever they do exceptionally well. They ignite the festival with "Rising Sun," a blistering rocket of uplifting vocals, blazing riffs, catchy rhythms, unforgettable solos, other delicious treats. They seem to be conscious about this type of anthem being their strength, as other songs like "'Til the Day We Die" and "Unmasking Lies" are conditioned to fit the same mold, although each tends to vary in tempo and identity rather smoothly. Magnus Wichmann and Renato Osσrio spend most of the album leapfrogging over each other's bolting guitar solos, and Fabio Juan, making his Scelerata debut, delivers a solid, albeit rather typical vocal performance.

Not a lot of surprises here as expected, but everything works out. The only pure anomaly of the bunch happens to be "Must be Dreaming," which is a mysterious, dreamy rocker that dramatically shifts the idea of Scelerata's music; Andi Deris makes his appearance here, and he sounds fantastic. There are times, however, in which Scelerata begins evolving into something far beyond the beef of "The Sniper," showing trace amounts of a group that has monumental potential. "In My Blood," simply put, puts most of the remaining record to shame; it's an explosive bombardment of sensational power metal. The epic eponymous anthem, too, burns through a plethora of spellbinding sections in which rumps are roasted and glorious riffs are praised eternally.

The eleven tunes (ten if you deduct "Money Painted Red," merely an intro to the title track) make the grass a little bit greener, a little more fresher, and a lot more bloodier. I'd like to derail the excessive genital stimulation for a bit, noting that Paul Di'Anno's vocals are almost nowhere to be found: he adds his voice to "Rising Sun" and "In My Blood," apparently, yet I can find not a particle of his performances. Then again, "Killers" was the last Di'Anno output that I bothered with, so his throat could've aged into anything, maybe even sounding like Juan's. Regardless, "The Sniper" needs a little love, too. Not perfect, but certainly worth checking out.

Scelerata - The Sniper


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